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Top 10 Most Wanted Films For The Criterion Collection
Criterion Collection Overview
Some people may be asking themselves what the Criterion Collection is. Maybe you've heard about them through online message boards or seen some of their cool cover art or maybe you just hear about them when the 50% off sale happens at Barnes And Noble every July and November and film geeks like myself lose it. Well the simplest way I can put it is the Criterion Collection takes rare and obscure films, but culturally significant films, and upgrades them to the highest quality possible and usually includes insane amounts of special features and generally always beautiful cover art. Most of the films they release would sadly and most likely not have been released stateside by any other company. Here is my top 10 films I want to see added.
10.The Grand Budapest Hotel
I know, I know I'm "wasting" a spot on a Wes Anderson film. For those unfamiliar all of Wes Anderson's work with the exceptions of "Moonrise Kingdom" and of course "The Grand Budapest Hotel" have been added onto the Criterion Collection. Listen I know it, you all know it at some point "The Grand Budapest Hotel" will be added into the Collection it's more just a matter of when. I'm personally dying to own this film on Blu-Ray but I'm not going to waste my money on a Blu-Ray that I know I will inevitably replace. Honestly I say just get the last two remaining Wes Anderson films out of the way so we can make more room for other directors (Paul Thomas Anderson,The Coen Brothers, Etc.) into the Collection. For now we play the waiting game for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and I'm sure when it is released it will be nothing short of incredible.
This little known Italian drama film is really only known here in the States thanks to director Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" in which Ennio Morricone's incredible score appears. I have not even seen this film because it is essentially impossible to see here in the States or really anywhere else. The film centers on a middle aged Italian aristocrat-turned-revolutionary who wants to retire is dragged back out to take up one last great cause. The film stars frequent Federico Fellini collaborator Marcello Mastroianni in the lead and directors Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani. The film seems to be like a spaghetti-western version of Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" and too see this film get added would be great.
8.The Iron Giant
With the recent addition of Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and the upcoming release of "Watership Down" it's nice to see the Criterion Collection add more animated films into the Collection. In my opinion the best addition that could be made is director of "The Incredibles" and "Mission Impossible 4" Brad Bird's criminally underrated animated gem "The Iron Giant" as it shockingly has still not been released onto blu-ray still to this day. For those unfamiliar with this film "The Iron Giant" is set in the 1950s and based on the novel "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes and centers on a young and lonely boy who ends up discovering a giant alien robot in his town and the two end up forming an unlikely friendship. This is simply one of the best animated films of the 1990s and really of all time and the fact that it is not on blu-ray more than qualifies it for a more proper release.
7.The Before Trilogy
Richard Linklater's "Before" Trilogy is my personal favorite trilogy of all time and this has been a release I have wanted to see on the Criterion Collection for a while. Now this has gained some serious traction thanks to star Ethan Hawke confirming that is in the works. For those unfamiliar the "Before" Trilogy consists of the films "Before Sunrise", "Before Sunset", and "Before Midnight". Each film is made in approximately ten years. "Before Sunrise" was released in 1995, "Before Sunset" was released in 2004, and "Before Midnight" in 2013. The film centers on two lovers Jesse(played by Hawke) and Celine played beautifully by Julie Delpy. The "Before" Trilogy could perhaps contain the greatest romance in cinematic history and is a series of films not just worth watching but also adding to the Criterion Collection.
6.The Zero Theorem
I've already said a lot about this grossly underrated Terry Gilliam film and if there is one film in particular that I would love to see get more attention in this list it's this one. "The Zero Theorem" is a bold film by Terry Gilliam that acts as a spiritual sequel to his masterpiece "Brazil", sadly this film had perhaps some of the worst distribution of all time as it was barely played in any theaters nor was it really even advertised either. It seems only the extreme Gilliam fans are aware of this film that centers on Qouenth Leth played by Christoph Waltz who is the top number cruncher at a major corporation in a dystopian future and is given the task of solving "the zero theorem" an equation that will essentially prove that life is meaningless. I would love to see the Criterion Collection stand behind Terry Gilliam on this film and give it an incredible release to have more people take notice of this film.
5.Hour Of The Wolf
You can never truly go wrong with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman who has made some of the greatest films in cinematic history including "The Seventh Seal","Wild Strawberries","The Magician","Persona", and many others. "Hour Of The Wolf" is one of the few still not on the Criterion Collection and it appears not to have had a proper video release. I personally have not seen the film but the premise of a husband and wife played by Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullman who feel as though their minds are slipping away when they believe their neighbors on a remote island are members of a cult. It is the only horror film made by Bergman and seems to be a worthy addition to the Collection.
4.David Lynch Box Set (The Elephant Man, Wild At Heart, Mulholland Drive, And/Or Inland Empire)
David Lynch is one of my personal all time favorite directors and with his directorial debut "Eraserhead" just receiving a blu-ray upgrade last year it would be amazing to see either a box set or just one of these films released within the Criterion Collection. His masterpiece "The Elephant Man" still has not received a blu-ray release in the States. "Wild At Heart" and "Inland Empire" have not either and "Mulholland Drive" was essentially tossed into a box set of his films on blu-ray but still "Mulholland Drive" deserves far better treatment. Other films I could see as nice additions would include "Straight Story", "Lost Highway", and "Blue Velvet". Here's hoping more Lynch will be added into the Criterion Collection soon.
3.Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench
Director Damien Chazelle has been having a lot of great and worthy success with his second feature "Whiplash" being nominated for all sorts of various awards and being universally praised as one of the best films of the year. However his little known directorial debut "Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench" has only been released on DVD and not Blu-Ray and what better way to welcome in a new and upcoming talent than add his rarely seen film into the Collection? I have not yet seen this film but it is a musical romance about Guy (played by Jason Palmer) and Madeline (played by Desiree Garcia) and it shows how each copes with their break-up. The film was shot on Black-And-White 16 MM Film and was only intended to Chazelle's thesis film for Harvard Film School. This would be a lovely addition to the Collection if it does happen.
This film from legendary director Robert Altman has not seen it's original theatrical cut released it's release in 1974 due to legal problems with the soundtrack for when the DVD was released, which is now out of print, and apparently 3 minutes of footage was cut from the film. For this reason I have not gotten the chance to watch this Altman film but want to desperately. The film centers on two compulsive gamblers played by Elliot Gould and George Segal who end up becoming friends in search of hitting it big. This is exactly the type of thing the Criterion should be doing by bringing back Robert Altman's original vision for the film and releasing the original theatrical cut of "California Split" which I hope gets added soon.
Paul Thomas Anderson the filmmaker behind such films as "Boogie Nights","There Will Be Blood", and now playing in theaters "Inherent Vice" has not gotten much love for his directorial debut "Hard Eight" or how it should properly be referred to as "Sydney". This was a film that had significant problems with the studio heads that Anderson had to fight with every step of the way to try to make his film. The film centers on an old gangster Sydney (played by Philip Baker Hall) who helps a young and lost man John (played by John C. Reilly) as they end up gambling their way to success. The cast also features Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson in supporting roles. There is also a rarely seen director's cut that has only been shown to the public once at the Cannes Film Festival that still to this day has not been shown again. So offering a Director's Cut called "Sydney" and the theatrical cut "Hard Eight" in the same release would be nothing short of incredible. "Hard Eight" or "Sydney" is perhaps one of the most strongest directorial debuts of all time despite the problems Paul Thomas Anderson had with the studio at the time.
These are 10 of the films I would love to see added to the Criterion Collection. There are others too such as Scorsese's "Mean Streets" or any of Stanley Kubrick's work or Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid". I'm sure that 2015 will be another great and exciting year for the Collection and hopefully some if not all will see release before the end of the year.